Entrepreneurs point to popularity of alcohol-free Dry Cooker

Entrepreneurs point to popularity of alcohol-free Dry Cooker

Today is the last day of dry January. Participants tried to lead an alcohol-free life for one month. Entrepreneurs say they’ve noticed that engagement is becoming more and more popular.

For example, supermarket chain Lidl saw less alcohol purchased in January, and Plus and Gall & Gall requested more soft drinks that month. “Non-alcoholic wine, champagne, beer and spirits are popular all year round, but especially so in January,” says a Gall & Gall spokesperson. “There are also more drinks that consumers don’t expect to be non-alcoholic.” For example, limonzero, the non-alcoholic version of limoncello.

“More and more people are saying, ‘I haven’t had a drink in a month,'” says Wim Boekema, founder of soft drink shop Nix & Nix. “You could say it’s more lively this year, we’ve seen a lot of approaches with people coming into the store in late December or early January with that goal in mind. After December, our busiest month is January. “The soft drinks chain started in the summer of 2021 and is opening more branches every day.


The demand for soft drinks is not only increasing in January. The National Beer Survey has shown that more non-alcoholic beer is drunk than before. Between 2019-2022, its market share increased from 5.7 percent to 6.7 percent.

Berrie Peek is also noted for popularity. He owns several liquor stores in Tilburg and has paid particular attention to extra space for soft drinks when opening his new location. “We now have about ten yards for beer to whiskey soft drinks, which is five percent of the store. We notice the popularity and highlights of the year. December, Dry January and also Lent here after Carnival. Then we have people who are already drunk.”

Rob Bovens, an alcohol researcher at Tilburg University, says the increased supply also makes it easier to join Dry January. He also thinks that it is better to give up completely non-alcoholic varieties, because then alcohol consumption is less normalized even among young people. But you are faced with a society where 80 percent of them consume alcohol. People need a transition period, they get used to alcohol. Going alcohol-free then is the first step.”

Amsterdam gastronomy

The challenge is particularly lively in Amsterdam, according to Koninklijke Horeca Nederland. Here, gastronomy entrepreneurs have noted an increased demand for soft drinks in the past month. In the rest of the country, entrepreneurs know less about it.

Dutch initiative IkPas encourages and supports people to join the struggle. They received more than 25,000 registrations this year. And there are also many people who do not sign up. “There are a lot of people who do this alone, it really has become an exaggeration,” says Bovens, who researched for IkPas. “It also helps to get more well-known Dutch people involved and more talk shows talking about it.”

Especially the elderly

According to Bovens, those attending are mostly people over the age of 50. As you get older, you drink more regularly. 60 percent of people over the age of 65 drink every day. For people under 25, it’s just 3 to 4 percent. Two-thirds of the participants are women.

“Participation in health issues is often a woman’s job,” says Bovens. “You also see a lot of highly educated people, but they also drink the most in the Netherlands. They can afford more, and also meet more often when there is alcohol on the table. Wine lunches, drinks, receptions.”

The challenge seems helpful. Prior to that, participants drank an average of 4.5 to 5 days per week. After a month without alcohol, a participant drinks almost a third less, on average. 6 percent quit permanently.

Source: NOS